DIY Bush Hog

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A bush hog, or brush hog, is ideal for getting rid of overgrown grasses and weeds. The beefed up bush hog is basically a rotary mower attached to a tractor, lawn mower or other vehicle. When properly used, a good bush hog mows down thick vegetation in vast areas that are simply too formidable to tackle with basic landscaping equipment. There are many ways to make a bush hog using different types of vehicles, from lawn mowers to more powerful ATVs.


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Homemade Front Mount Mower

A lawn tractor or front mount mower makes a good vehicle for a do-it-yourself bush hog. These everyday machines are designed to neatly cut grass and vacuum up the leftover leafy scraps. By doing away with the vacuuming blade and then shortening the cutting blade, your lawn mower can better attack all that tall grass waving derisively at you in the wind.

For the blade, after you remove it, mark a measured point between the center of the hole in the blade and the blade tip on both ends of the blade. Heat the midpoint with a torch to cherry red and hammer an angle that lifts the blade an inch – but not more than a 1/2 inch of the cover when it is put back together. You may need to cut a hole in the mower cover.

Considering you'll have heaps of grass, ditch the bag from your mower and set it at its highest setting to keep it from getting clogged. Larger wheels will help you maneuver through dense brush. Take off any front plates to open up the machine's capabilities and add a rubber flap to the back to protect your legs. A metal guard over the handles gives an extra layer of protection.

Bigger Build for Bigger Jobs

For more power and control, you can also attach a homemade bush hog to the back of a tractor or with a three-point hitch. An ATV or UTV also makes for a suitable vehicle to pull a worthy cutter. The blades are on hinges rather than fixed like that of a lawnmower. This makes it easier to go over rough land that may have hidden stumps and rocks without breaking the blades or causing injury. When the blade encounters a stubborn object, it will bounce in and back safely and return to its cutting position. The blades are heavier and less sharp than a mower blade, making it easier to get through dense growth without getting stuck. A properly installed hitch is vital to helping the bush hog safely bounce behind you and cuts down on breakage.


Kit Preparedness

If you aren't quite confident in your torching and blade cutting abilities, a kit can be a good thing. Although there are many ways to make a homemade hog, there are many affordable options and kits online that come ready to use or install with safety guards in place. Major big box stores and online retailers carry complete kits or parts to give your bush hog an easy makeover. Kits are just as affordable as doing the job yourself if you don't have the materials on hand.



Kimberley McGee is an award-winning journalist with 20+ years of experience writing for a variety of clients, including The New York Times, Las Vegas Review-Journal Home section and other national publications. As a professional writer she has researched, interviewed sources and written about home improvement, interior design and related business trends. She earned a B.A. in Journalism from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Her full bio and clips can be viewed at